Chivas USA used 34 players in competitive matches in 2013, second most in the league. Over the coming weeks, we'll shine a spotlight on every player's season, but today, we kick off our 2013 Player Postmortem series with the guys who didn't play in a competitive match all season.
Although Chivas' coaches seemed pretty comfortable giving players minutes this year, Orozco was the player on the roster the longest who didn't get to feature for the first team. On trial during the preseason, Orozco, then 20, earned a contract with the Goats. Coming from a youth career with Tigres UANL and a loan stint with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Orozco was billed as a combination midfielder/defender, but beyond that, not much else was known about him. Still, he was far from the only player to have that said for him.
It is unclear why Orozco didn't get his shot with the first team, but it was apparent that by the time Jose Luis Real took over coaching duties the youngster was no longer really in the team's plans. He remained on the team's official roster page for several weeks after reports emerged that he was not in training, and then he was quietly removed from the roster page, without any announcement about his departure. He was listed as making the developmental minimum salary, at $35,125, so he wasn't tying up a bunch of money, although if the team didn't figure he had a future at the club, perhaps they figured they could save a few bucks cutting him before the end of the season.
Where will Orozco go from here? Hard to say, though I think there's a very good chance he'll either go back to the NASL or maybe try and find a USL-PRO team to join for 2014. He may not have made his MLS debut with Chivas USA in 2013, but he is young enough that he can regroup and try to make his way back again.
Calvert was Chivas' lone Homegrown Player signing of 2013. After scoring at a blistering pace in the Academy ranks at both U-16 and U-18 level, Calvert won USSDA National Player of the Year in his age group and signed a pro deal with the Goats in July at just 16 years of age. Despite Chivas' persistent scoring struggles in 2013, Calvert was, and is, clearly a player for the future.
However, he may have gotten a chance with the first team in 2013, but suffered an injury around the time of his signing. Although it was listed as a foot injury on the weekly injury reports during the season, a recent article on the club's website says it was an ankle injury that sidelined the striker. Regardless, it seems likely that if he was healthy, Calvert probably would have been thrown onto the field at least a few times late in the season, but the bad luck means he'll have to wait until 2014 to make that competitive debut. Perhaps he will follow in fellow Homegrown Player Marky Delgado's footsteps and make a big step up in production in his second professional season. At this point, it is too early to know what Calvert's pro level will ultimately be, and if he can hit the ground running. But it would certainly be great if Chivas could not only uncover a productive striker, but also a local boy who can contribute to the team on a regular basis.
Jazic announced on twitter late last year that his contract option had been picked up by Chivas. That was true, but the problem with that was that the people who decided on contract options were not the same people who decided personnel decisions by the time preseason rolled around. Instead of Jazic going out on his own terms, perhaps playing one final season before hanging up his boots, he was kept on the roster all season, making the money contractually owed to him, but evidently not welcome to play or be with the team. It's a shame really, since he was on Chivas' roster anyway and they didn't have any left backs on the team, something that was painfully obvious when they switched to a standard four-man defense midseason after Chelís' departure. Jazic may be 37, but at least he actually played the position and wasn't being put there out of desperation because there weren't any actual proper left backs on the team.
On the other hand, he got to collect a paycheck and pursue other (non-MLS playing) opportunities. Most notably, Jazic served as a member of Colin Miller's coaching staff for the Canadian Men's National Team during the Gold Cup this summer. It may be an indication that Jazic will be moving to the coaching ranks from here on out, but I think it is safe to say that he probably won't be part of the Chivas USA set-up anytime in the near future. And that's a shame, really, as Jazic played four seasons with Chivas and was a solid player and good professional.
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